Famed music producer and former head of Def Jam’s Urban Music division Jermaine Dupri has come forward to ‘clear the air’ after being ousted from his position last week. “It was a situation where it felt very stagnant to me,” says Dupri, who was in charge of several releases including Jagged Edge’s “Baby Making Music” and Janet Jackson’s ill-fated album “Discipline”. Speaking candidly with Essence after reading blogs and receiving messages from fans concerned about his reported ousting, Dupri says: “Iâm a record person, so if I give you a record and you donât put it out, then basically youâre showing me that itâs really no business. I never got a chance to put the records out. I had Johnta Austin, Ninth Ward and Dondria. I read the blogs and Iâm thinking, How can they say that Iâm not putting out records when anyone who knows my track record knows Iâm about making music?” Admitting that he “just stopped dealing with (Def Jam) on a daily basis,” the So So Def label maker made it clear that he’s not bitter, but just wanted to clear the air. While Dupri’s plans from here on out are up in the air, he does have a deal for TAG Records and says he’s not in the same position as other people at Def Jam. “Iâm a person who continues to carve out my own way. Instead of watching things happen, I make them happen. If L.A. (Reid) gets fired at Def Jam (heâs 20 years older than me) where is he going to go? Many of the people at the label; if their bosses were to fire them today, they donât have anything else to do. Their lives are over. Iâm not that dude. Life ainât over for me.” For more on Jermaine Dupri’s interview visit Essence.com.
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